TAB 191231 Neil Innes-1577778429797
File photo dated 02/10/11 of Neil Innes at the screening of George Harrison: Living In The Material World at the BFI in London. Comedian and musician Neil Innes, who collaborated with Monty Python and played with The Rutles, has died aged 75, his agent has said. PA Photo. Issue date: Monday December 30, 2019. See PA story DEATH Innes. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire Image Credit: AP

Monty Python writer and actor Neil Innes has died aged 75, his agent has confirmed.

The comedian and musician died of natural causes on Sunday night, agent Nigel Morton said.

Innes was known for his work with the British comedy group Monty Python and The Bonzo Dog Band.

A statement released on behalf of his family Monday said: “It is with deep sorrow and great sadness that we have to announce the death of Neil James Innes on December 29, 2019.

“We have lost a beautiful, kind, gentle soul whose music and songs touched the heart of everyone and whose intellect and search for truth inspired us all,” the statement said. “He died of natural causes quickly without warning and, I think, without pain.”

Innes wrote songs for the popular film ‘Monty Python And The Holy Grail’, appeared in ‘Monty Python’s Life of Brian’ and toured the UK and Canada with the group.

He was also a member of the band The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, later renamed the Bonzo Dog Band, whose song ‘I’m The Urban Spaceman’ won him an Ivor Novello award.

Colleagues have been paying tributes to Innes on Twitter, including the prominent British actor Mark Gatiss, who fondly wrote “Sweet dreams, sweet idiot.”